Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford
When I first began reading this book, I thought that it was going to be yet another account of the life and workings of a restaurant kitchen. While I thoroughly enjoy those types of books, Kitchen Confidential is a favorite, this book was so much more. Buford deconstructs Mario Batali's success, taking the reader from Batali's kitchen to England and, finally, to Italy where the journey switches course and becomes Buford's own. Especially interesting was the time the author spends in Italy learning the art of butchery. As one who gets more than a little queasy taking the neck and giblets out of the Thanksgiving turkey, I was suprised that I enjoyed those sections so much.
One of my friends found this book easier to listen to than to read, as Buford does a fine job of telling his own tale. I have to admit, he is a fan of minutia, so if you are prone to becoming bogged down in such stuff, think about listening to the audio book version.